Origin: Chinese, Tai Chi is the abbreviation for the Chinese Martial Art 太极拳 (Tai Chi Quan)
Tai Chi is known for its breathing techniques and “Push hand” which is an internal martial art to resist force with force. It is like training the body to take in the attack (force) and redirecting this force back to the aggressor or attacker.
In the singlish world, it can be used for a variety of things most notably at a workplace where everyone is “pushing” their responsibility to others. And others resist, deflect, channel the force back or to another victim and so on.
Example 1: Today I wrote an email to my regional manager asking who will be my replacement during my holidays. He directed my email to my local HR, who, in turn direct it to my Team Lead who absolutely has no control over manpower and he in turn redirect back to the regional manager……They were all channeling their internal tai chi powers all over the place.
Example 2: My superior told me that I had to attend the meeting on his behalf tomorrow, but I managed to tai chi it back to him because I am flying abroad for my holidays tomorrow!!